WHAT WENT RIGHT
Next up, quarterback Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre for the most career games in NFL history with at least three touchdown passes. Both players have 72.
In addition, wide receiver Eric Decker’s two touchdowns Sunday gave him 19 over the past two seasons. That total ties the franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a two-year span, with that mark previously shared by Rod Smith and Anthony Miller.
The Broncos wasted no time jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and a 14-3 lead at halftime before leading by as much as 25 in the fourth quarter.
The opening drive was fueled by the Manning to Demaryius Thomas connection. Thomas caught three passes on the eight-play drive for 57 yards — including a diving 22-yard touchdown.
“We always talk about starting fast,” Thomas said. “This is my first time, for me, starting that fast as an individual. We started fast as an offense and defense started fast, everything was clicking.”
On Sunday, the Broncos converted nine of their 15 third downs, good for 60 percent. The Browns, meanwhile, converted just three times — a 25 percent conversion rate.
That production on the key down played a big role in why Denver was able to run away with the game.
“If you protect the ball, if you convert third downs and if you get touchdowns in the red zone, you know that is what we kind of think about on offense,” Manning said. “I’m just trying to do my part and the defense has done a good job holding offenses to field goals and have gotten us some field position.”
WHAT WENT WRONG
Cornerback Tracy Porter returned to the active lineup on Sunday, but midway through Cleveland’s first drive, Porter was involved in a big collision with wide receiver Josh Gordon.
“He was down,” Fox said. “It was a pretty hard collision, something I was kind of crossing my fingers for. It didn’t work out, but he’ll battle back.”
Porter did not return to the game due to suffering a concussion.
“Knocked out on the 3rd play back, (shaking my head),” Porter wrote on Twitter. “Guess I was too excited lol. But all is good. Don’t worry I’m looking to be back next week.”
While the Broncos didn’t lose a fumble on Sunday, the club put the ball on the ground twice on special teams.
Returners Trindon Holliday and Jim Leonhard both fumbled, but the Broncos recovered each loose ball.
“We had a couple put on the ground,” Fox said. “Not too many of these are perfect. You strive for perfection, but you very seldom get it.”
Manning also threw an interception, but the Broncos special teams unit got the turnover back when it recovered a fumble by Joshua Cribbs.
“That was my fault,” Manning said. “I probably should have just thrown the ball away.”
Letting Them In
For nearly three-and-a-half quarters, the Broncos kept the Cleveland Browns out of the end zone.
But with 7:56 left in the game, quarterback Colt McCoy hit wide receiver Greg Little for a 6-yard touchdown strike.
The ensuing two-point conversion attempt, however, was no good. The defense sniffed out a McCoy sneak.